The Film (1.5/5)
Jason Clarke plays Dr. Eric Price a psychiatrist that is more interested in living a lurid, drug-addled lifestyle that taking on any new patients since the tragic death of his wife some time before. One night he is visited by a representative of the Winchester Repeating Arms CO. and tasked with visiting the home of their owner Sarah Winchester who has been building her house non-stop for over 20 years. They want a psychological evaluation done on her to see if she is fit to continue running the company, and offer Price a substantial sum of money if he finds her unfit.
He goes to the Winchester house which has over 100 rooms, with more under construction at all times, and finds Ms. Winchester keeps building the rooms as places for spirits of those who have died by the use of her companies products to live in (they must resemble the place they died), and either give them the peace to move on, or lock them up to prevent danger to anyone else. As Dr. Price had previously died due to a shot by a Winchester, but was restored to life, he like Sarah, can see the spirits of the house.
There is a good movie somewhere in this story. Possibly even using this script. However, Winchester is not that film. I am not opposed to jump scares, when used sparingly and well, but the Spierig Brothers who did the quite solid Undead and Daybreakers seem to rely on them as their sole method for scares with the material on hand. As such, the film feels entirely like a really bad roller coaster ride of horror, when the material could have truly been an atmospheric and melancholic haunted house affair.
It is truly rare to get haunted house films in general, and great ones are truly much more rare, so when the trailer for Winchester showed up, I had hoped for greatness from the film. With such talent as Helen Mirren among the cast one would certainly hope, we could get something closer to the Innocents or the Uninivited and less the Woman in Black 2. Rather, the best thing about the film is some of the warm and atmospheric location lighting, and Mirren's performance which though the material is lacking, she never is.
Lionsgate presents Winchester in a splendid 2:39:1 1080p AVC encoded transfer preserving the OAR of the film. Everything here looks quite solid, it is well detailed, and colors and flesh tones are well reproduced. I imagine as this is a recent film this replicates the theatrical experience close to 1:1.
Audio is handled by a similarly excellent DTS-HD 5.1 in English. The track comes through crisp, clear, and well-balanced.
There is just a short making of included on the disc.
I had high hopes for a great haunted house film with Winchester, especially with a cast lead by the great Helen Mirren. The Blu-ray, of course, looks and sounds fantastic, but overall the film is totally lacking. RENT IT.